FIRST DRAFT: Cultured South to host third Atlanta Fermentation Festival

Local craft brews and news

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SALT AND VINEGAR: Sample a wide variety of fermented and preserved foods and beverages on Sunday, March 24.

Attendees of the third annual Atlanta Fermentation Festival can sample, purchase, and barter fermented products from dozens of local and regional artisans, while learning about the process and benefits of fermentation through live demonstrations and educational talks. The free festival will be held from 11 a.m.-6 p.m, Sunday, March 24, at the West End BeltLine Lee + White food and beverage district.

Fermentation Fest is the brainchild of Cultured South Fermentation Co. founder and Golda Kombucha brewmaster Melanie Wade, a prominent local advocate for fermentation and Appalachian herbal medicine. Golda Kombucha released Georgia’s first CBD-infused beverage earlier this year, which will be available at the festival along with other seasonal kombuchas on tap. “We believe in the health and healing benefits of fermented foods, and we believe that fermentation and food sustainability should be shared and taught,” Wade says. “Cultured South and the Fermentation Festival have always been about educating and connecting the community, as well as sharing our own kombucha and cultured food.”

The vendor market will feature all sorts of fermented and cultured products, including organic butter, hot sauces, sourdough bread, cashew cheese, and local honey. Home fermenters, gardeners, and artisans are encouraged to bring their craft to barter with others, but should first register for the Culture Swap on the Fermentation Fest website. There will also be a Libations Lounge with craft beer selections curated by Dames and Dregs Beer Festival, which returns for its second year this August. “Golda Kombucha participated in Dames and Dregs 2018, as Melanie is a brewer,” says Dames and Dregs founder Luis Martinez. “We believe in the work she has done in the fermentation world — she is an advocate for education as well as her community. Her vision, mission, and culture aligns with what Dames and Dregs stands for, and we can't wait for March 24.”

Live demonstrations include “A brief history of ferments for human connection” from Julia Skinner, founder and director of Atlanta food history and fermentation organization Root. There will also be a talk about women in brewing hosted by Cherokee Moon Mixology, and a beer homebrewing exhibition with Kraig Torres of Hop City Beer.

The Lee + White development is home to several prominent fermentation-based businesses, including Cultured South, Monday Night Garage, and Doux South Pickles. Plans are being drafted for a Wild Heaven Beer location there soon, as well as Boxcar, a gastropub and craft beer store from the team behind Hop City Beer.

General admission to Fermentation Fest is free, but a $15 Libations Glass Pass includes a souvenir taster glass plus five tasting tickets for 2-3-oz. pours of fermented alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Proceeds from the festival benefit Georgia Organics and the Farmer Fund, two nonprofit partners that support community-based agricultural efforts through education and direct financial support.

Free-$15. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun., March 24. Cultured South Fermentation Co., 1038 White St. S.W. 404-549-8314. www.atlantafermentationfest.com

Friends in the Atlanta craft beer community: If you have a cool event or new beer release in need of coverage, drop a line to Creative Loafing’s beer correspondent, Alex Patton, at alex.patton@creativeloafing.com

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